Even at my dinky, local supermarket there are 10 varieties of coconut water on sale. Even Coke, Pepsi, Sunsweet and Hershey’s (is a chocolate version coming?) are trying to get a piece of the coconut craze.
The sweat-drenched, hard-bodied, Paleo evangelists (I didn’t know caveman cracked coconuts too?) at my gym swear by coconut water. It makes them feel great, they say.
They’re drinking the juice of young coconuts that’s been popular forever in the Carribean, Asia, South America and other tropical areas. You can thank Hollywood A-listers like Madonna, Ashton & Demi, Kim K, Padma, and Molly Sims who drank the juice (so to speak) for making it the “it” fit drink of the day.
Before you run out to buy a case of coconut water, know what you’re getting. The nutrition facts vary from brand to brand, but an 8-ounce serving can have anywhere from 50-80 calories and provides 2-3 teaspoons of natural sugars. For comparison a regular Gatorade would have 60 calories and 15 grams sugar (3 ¾ tsp) in the same serving.
Unless the juice contains pulp, it should be fat-free and provide no protein. Coconut water is also relatively low in sodium and extremely high potassium, providing well over 100% of the required daily intake for the electrolyte. In fact, some Hollywood banana-bashing dieters like to if you drink coconut water you never have to eat a banana.
Coconut Water Versus Sports Drinks
Sports drinks are higher in sodium (100-200 mg) per the same 8 or 11-ounce serving and provide modest amounts of potassium (40-60 mg) to replace the ratio of sodium and potassium that is lost in sweat. Lots of potassium can lead to diarrhea and other GI issues, so not necessarily great for athletes in endurance events.
There are no scientific published studies to back up the claims of being a good sports drink, libido lifter or hangover helper, but it’s a great option that is lower in calories, sugar and provide nutrients lacking in diet sodas or regular soda. I wouldn’t attempt a marathon, bike race, triathlon or any other serious endurance event drinking only coconut water, unless you plan to get additional sodium from other sources.
I have several friends that love coconut water but I’m in the camp that they are an acquired taste. If it’s really hot out, and the coconut juice is really cold, that’s when I like it best. I don’t like any of them with pulp and find the ones I enjoy best have added acai berry juice or other juices added, as it cuts the coconut taste.
|Coconut Water (per 11 oz)||Calories||Sugar (g)||Sodium mg||Potassium mg|
|Amy and Brian Coconut Juice www.amyandbriannaturals.com||50||14||60||NA|
|C2O Pure Coconut Water
|Harvest Bay Original Coconut Water
|Naked Juice Coconut Water
|O.N.E 100% Coconut Water
|Taste Nirvana Real Coconut Water
|Vita Coco 100% Pure Coconut Water
|ZICO Pure Coconut Water